For ten years and in 92 ODI matches, West Indies' Dwayne Smith battled hard to reach the three-figure mark. In his 93rd match on Saturday, the fiery opener looked all set to finally score his first ODI hundred but it was not meant to be. Three short of the mark, Smith was bowled by Shami - a shattered dream drowned out by local fans in New Delhi. (Match runs | Highlights)
Chasing 264, Smith looked in excellent touch from the word go. He met the ball with the middle of his bat and dealt with spin and pace with equal determination as he scored run-a-ball 97 with the help of 11 fours and two sixes. In fact, his batting looked like taking West Indies to a comfortable win - right till the 36th over when he was removed and a batting implosion sent shockwaves in the West Indies camp.
"I'm disappointed. I worked really hard during the CPL and since I came here to India, I really wanted to make my mark in this series," said the 31-year-old, who has seven fifties in the format.(We didn't play to our potential: Dhoni)
"Tonight I was looking to bat all the way through and take the team to victory. Someone needed to bat to the end and see the game home but unfortunately I wasn't able to complete the job. We came close tonight and victory, would have made it 2-0, so as a team we are disappointed," said Smith.
The disappointment was evident as many believed West Indies gifted the match away once Smith had left. From 170 for two, the tourists were bowled out for 215 - undermining the solid effort put in by Smith. "We know where we went wrong. We know we didn't bat as well as we should have," said Smith, the second highest run-scorer in the 2014 edition of Indian Premier League. The Chennai Super Kings opener had scored 566 runs in the seventh edition.
The five-ODI series is currently level at 1-1 with three matches left. Smith however is determined to continue in his quest for a century and help West Indies take the series against India. "It's 1-1 now in the series with three more matches to go. We are still well and truly in this series. We will look to come back and win the series. We have what it takes to win," said the Barbados player.
Third ODI between India and West Indies will be played on October 14 at Visakhapatnam.